Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Michigan?

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Michigan LLC Form, Filing and Permit Requirements

If you want to form an LLC in Michigan, there are certain forms, requirements and legalities you need to get in place. Below is a rundown of what you’ll need to do, together with details on each form required for your Michigan LLC. Some of these forms you only need to submit once, while others must be filed on a regular basis. You will need to set reminders in your calendar to file forms regularly if you're filing yourself. At Incfile, we provide an optional renewal service and can take care of renewals for you when you instruct us to do so.

Articles of Organization

Articles of Organization are the formal documents filed with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to create your LLC. They state certain information about your business. Once the documents are filed with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, they legally create your business as an LLC in Michigan. Here’s what’s typically included:

  • Your business name and address
  • Details of your Registered Agent

Here at Incfile we automatically create and file your Articles of Organization on your behalf when you start your business with us. You only need to file your certificate once. There is a fee charged by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to cover your filing (currently $50 or $100 if you want expedited service). You only need to file your articles once.

Michigan Professional LLCs

In Michigan, certain professions can form “Professional LLCs.” These are companies providing defined, professional services, and they typically need to be specially licensed. In Michigan, businesses engaged in the following activities are considered professional service organizations and must be properly licensed and regulated.

  • Dentists
  • Osteopathic physicians
  • Physicians
  • Surgeons
  • Doctors of pinity
  • Clergy
  • Attorneys at law

Further information is available from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Incfile provides a complete Business License Research Package that will tell you all of the licenses and permits necessary for your new professional LLC.

Business Licenses for Your Michigan LLC

Depending on the type of Michigan business you’re running, you will need to obtain various business licenses and permits. These are not required to form your LLC, but it’s important to know which permits and licenses are required for your business to operate in compliance for your business jurisdiction.

A Business Permit or License From Your City

Various cities in Michigan have slightly different rules and fees for permits and licenses. Check with your local Michigan city administration to see what their rules are. You will need a separate permit or license for each city your Michigan LLC operates in.

Additional business permits and licenses

Depending on the type of business you are running, you may need to get additional permits and licenses from the city, county or state of Michigan. You can get an idea of the types of permits and licenses you might need from the State of Michigan website.

The federal government may also require you to get certain licenses or permits, and the SBA has a comprehensive list of Michigan license permits. The frequency of how often you need to file permits varies depending on the permit type. You can find details of the various state licenses and permits here.

Interesting and unique permits for Michigan include various automobile and car services, credit services, electrical services and insurance services.

Federal Licenses and Permits

Depending on the type of Michigan business you are running, you may need to get licenses and permits from the federal government and various national agencies. You can find a complete list on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.

Incfile Business License Research Package

You will need to pay licensing and permit fees on a regular basis depending on the type of business you are operating and where you are located. These do vary from city to city and industry to industry. If you don’t want to do the legwork yourself, we provide a complete Business License Research Package that will tell you all of the licenses and permits for your new LLC. It includes:

  • A comprehensive package of all the licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your business
  • The application forms to file with the appropriate licensing authorities
  • Your customized Business License Research Package will be emailed to you within two days of your company being filed by the state
  • Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from state and local governments

Michigan Business Tax and Registration

All businesses in Michigan must pay the Michigan Business Tax. You can register for the tax through the Michigan Department of the Treasury.

Other Michigan Taxes

If you hire employees, you must register for unemployment insurance tax and state income tax withholding.

If you sell taxable goods, you must also file and pay sales tax. You can do that here.

Operating Agreement for Your Michigan LLC

Setting up an LLC is easy, but actively managing one can be more complex. An operating agreement defines how your business works and ensures all the founders, owners, members or managers have a common understanding. An operating agreement normally covers areas including:

  • Legal Standing: Declares the legal standing of your LLC, that it was formed in Michigan including dates, formation details and other important legal information.
  • LLC Ownership: States how ownership of the business is split between members. This influences how the business is run, voting rights and several other areas.
  • Ownership Percentages: Defines the amount each member has invested and the percentage of ownership of each Michigan LLC member.
  • LLC Management Type: States whether your LLC will be managed by managers (people the owners appoint or its members (owners).
  • Management Relationships: Declares the relationship between the members and the managers of your Michigan LLC including the roles, rights and responsibilities of each.
  • Voting Powers and Decision Authority: States how high-level decisions will be presented, discussed and acted on, including the voting rights of each LLC member.
  • LLC Rules: Defines the rules, procedures and policies to follow for adding, removing, amending and making other changes to members and managers. This includes moving ownership between members.
  • Profit and Loss Allocation: How profits or losses will be split and allocated between Michigan LLC members.

You are not required by Michigan state or federal law to have an operating agreement for your LLC, but we recommend one for several reasons. An operating agreement:

  • Strengthens your legal standing as an LLC and adds credibility for your organization
  • Clearly states how your business will operate, so there’s no confusion or ambiguity
  • Reduces misunderstandings and disagreements between LLC members, which is important for a harmonious business
  • Allows you to create your own rules for your LLC, rather than being subject to the default Michigan state rules for an LLC
  • Reduces the need for every member of an LLC to approve and sign off on every decision

Your operating agreement only needs to be created once and will need to be updated if significant changes are needed.

Annual Report for your Michigan LLC

You must file an Annual Report with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on an annual basis by February 15 of each year. The cost is currently $75. If you do not file your annual report, your LLC may be dissolved after two years. Here at Incfile, we can File Your Annual Report on your behalf.

As you can see, there are several forms and permits you need to conduct business, both initially and that you’re required to submit on an annual basis.

Certificate of Good Standing for Your Michigan LLC

You may need a “Certificate of Good Standing” for certain business-related services like opening a bank account. You can order one from us for a small cost of $45.

Ready to Start your Michigan LLC?

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you create your Michigan LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps, such as filing the Articles of Organization on your behalf. Our basic package also provides a free Registered Agent service for the first year. If you're looking for help to start an LLC, our comprehensive services provide outstanding value.

Only $49 + State Fee To Launch Your Business

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What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Michigan?

Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$50 15 Business Days 8 Business Days

Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Annual Report

Frequency: Annually

Due: February 15th

Note: LLCs registered after September 30th of the preceding year are exempt from filing the report in the subsequent year. 

Filing Fee: $25

Learn more about starting a business in Michigan

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